KAMPALA- Ugandan innovators have been equipped with knowledge on how to raise capital for their start-ups.
Making a presentation at the ongoing Innovation Week at Innovation Village, Ntinda, Ivan Mandela from Unreasonable Africa advised innovators to first grow value of their start-ups before seeking investors.
“Investors get biased if you are unprepared. Try to focus on building the business before involving investors. Be clear on what stage of business developing you are on while asking for investment,” advised Mandela.
He added that it’s vital to understand how much you need and at what stage.
“Don’t ask for more or less than you need at that particular stage,” he added.
As for Steven Odhiambo, sometimes you don’t need money but rather networks.
“You need networks. Make good use of innovation hubs, entrepreneurs events, these networks create value. Whatever you are working on must be scalable and sustainable. You should have a vision and proof of how you can make scalable returns on given investment,” said Odhiambo.
“Understanding the context of your environment is a key factor. No foreigner would understand your environmental problems better than you. You have the power to create scalable solutions better than a foreigner would. This is your power to entrepreneurship,” he added.
Speaking at the event, Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU)’s Joel Muhumuza, an innovator himself called on his colleagues to try to venture into the unknown.
Muhumuza said that majority of the current innovators are mainly just improving innovations that are already in existence.
“There is always fear to venture into the unknown but once you overcome this fear, this would likely be a big breakthrough for you,” he said.
He concluded by tipping innovators about the existing gaps in the market.
Since part of FSDU’s focus is on innovative approaches towards the provisions of affordable, appropriate and usable financial services, he revealed that according to their recent research, refugees have limited access to financial services since majority lack the needed documents to open up bank accounts.
However, such a gap can be covered by innovators.